What Is A Preening Toy?

What Is A Preening Toy?

 August 12th, 2010
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There were a couple of things that I should have elaborated on in my last post, one of them is this question.

A preening toy, preener toy, or simply a preener is an object that is made of materials that can be preened by a bird.  Just as a bird will preen its mate’s feathers, or its own, or groom your hair, it will spend hours working on the strands in the many varieties of preener toys.  Pretty much, it is any toy that satisfies that need.

These are preening toys:

But, so is this:

The one thing they all have in common is that they have dangley parts that a bird will sweep its beak over simulating a preening action.  This seems to keep some birds from over-working their own feathers if they are so inclined.

Different birds have different preference when it comes to the materials that they like to preen.

Cloth toys as well as rope toys and perches fray easily and can serve as a preener for your bird.  HOWEVER, it is important to note, and I didn’t say this in my last post, that toes, necks and other body parts get entangled easily in frayed cloth or rope.  Anything frayed is, in fact, dangerous to keep in your bird’s cage without supervision.

Rope perches that have frayed over time can be cut back with scissors to a safe length.  Since a frayed edge of cloth can become dangerously long in just a matter of hours, it should not be left in the cage with a determined bird.  My vet had to amputate her own cockatoo’s toe after in became entangled in fray from her cage cover.

Fabric, however, seems to be a favorite material to many parrots and as long as safety is in the forefront of everyone’s mind it can make an enticing, and inexpensive toy.  A wet, or better yet frozen, facecloth can offer a lot of comfort and fun to a parrot in the summertime.  As always, be smart and think through potential dangers before you give ANY toys to your bird.

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6 Comments on “What Is A Preening Toy?”

Shelley  08/14/2010 12:38 am

Seeing all of the posts about birds getting there feet caught in threads, reminded me to check my toys…Also made the rest of my family get why I insist they have someone to take care of them if
we are gone over night…Thanks!

Chris  08/15/2010 3:31 pm

My name is chris I am 13 years old , i am buying my very first parrot after couple of days,
I am getting a yellow naped amazon parrot,
I watched like 20 videos about training parrots,
I just wanna ask you, What should i feed my amazon parrot? And what should i use as a treat?
Also, Which toys should i buy for an amazon parrot?
That’s it, I hope you reply.


Houston Pet Sitter  08/15/2010 5:38 pm

Thank you for the cautionary note. As with dogs and chew toys, there are some items which may be safe to begin with, but can become dangerous after some use. These can be reserved for times when the birds can be supervised, then removed. As Shelley noted, even “safe” toys should be inspected on a regular basis. Thanks again!

Patty  08/16/2010 11:27 am

Hi Chris,
Welcome to the world of parrots! They are remarkable creatures and very different in their needs from dogs and cats. Parrots need to be fed from the different food groups. Here’s a link to help you: http://www.old1.birdtricks.com/blog/the-4-most-important-components-of-a-healthy-diet/. You’re in luck because amazons have wonderful appetites and are known to be great eaters compared to many other parrot species. Because of this, though, they can become overweight, so be sure not to overfeed any snacks and make sure your bird gets plenty of exercise. Select a good quality pellet and don’t be lured into feeding a seed diet. Seeds should only be served as snacks.
Select toys that are meant for medium and large birds. You’ll have to learn what your bird likes to play with by watching. If he ruins it, he loves it!
Have fun with your new bird! Go through the blog archives for info, there’s a lot there to be learned and stop by with questions!

Chris  08/16/2010 7:04 pm

Thank you very much for the reply, I really learned a lot!

Anyways i’ve got some other questions,
Should i trim my parrot feathers? I mean is it really important? I don’t wanna ruin its feathers looking.
And How many times should i feed my parrot per day? And when?

Thank you, (I am a beginner, So i need more information Haha)

P.s I am really excited and nervous at the same time, I am afraid that he might not like me, Thats why i am asking too many questions Haha.


Patty  08/17/2010 8:08 pm

Hi Chris,
Don’t be nervous. The greatest thing about animals and birds is they don’t pass judgment. If you do right by your new bird, he will love you. It’s that simple.
Here are some more links, to answer your questions:
Re trimming feathers: http://www.old1.birdtricks.com/blog/thinking-about-clipping-your-bird/
Re how many times to feed: http://www.old1.birdtricks.com/blog/how-often-and-how-much-to-feed-your-birds/
Re positive/negative reinforcement: http://www.old1.birdtricks.com/blog/the-difference-between-positive-and-negative-reinforement/
I love that you are doing research before you bring your parrot home. I wish everybody did!